I didn't catch the CSR's name this time, but she's not as chipper as Kendra. I give her my name, SSN, etc, and ask her if I can have my application expedited. She says that it has already been expedited. This is news to me, but if true, it's at least good news for a change. And can I get it overnighted, assuming that it gets processed in time? She says it's going to be FedExed. Well, hey, great. Would it speed up the application process if I went to Houston to apply in person? There's some confusion as she first tells me that I could go somewhere closer, like Denver, but I would have to resubmit the application. Once she figures out that my application is physically located in Houston, she says that if I got an appointment and went to Houston, they would give me my passport the same day. Really? For sure? She says I might have to wait a few hours, but they would give it to me the day of my appointment. Hmm.
I decide to try the automated appointment system and at least see how it works. Answer: it kind of doesn't. I got a recorded message that said, "Due to high call volume, your call cannot be connected to the automated appointment system at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you please try your call again later. Our automated appointment system operates 24 hours a day, and you may find it easier to get through late evenings and on weekends." That really doesn't bode well.